“Long Covid” is Affecting Children With Mild Symptoms
By Sophia Mao
The term “long Covid” is often used to describe symptoms that linger for weeks or months beyond infection. Typically, long Covid is common among adults who have experienced the deadlier symptoms of covid in the past. However, it seems like these long term effects of covid are also affecting children with mild symptoms too.
15 year old Will Gorgan is one of the many children struggling from these long term effects. During class he stared blankly at an assignment over biology he had just learned a day before. “I’ve never seen this before,” he said distressfully to his teacher. This episode was one of the many that he experienced after getting covid in October. Fatigue, aching legs, and dizziness were part of his long Covid symptoms.
An estimated 10 to 30 percent of adults who have had covid experience long Covid. For adults and older people, common symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, memory or sleep problems, headache, and many more according to the CDC.
These long term effects can be a problem for students. Long Covid can disrupt their schooling, sleep, extracurricular activities, and just life in general. Especially in a learning environment, having these extra problems can be very hard on kids. “Once you start falling behind, it’s very hard because the kids lose their own self-confidence too. It’s a downward spiral,” said Dr. Avindra Nath.
Unfortunately, the symptoms listed previously aren’t the worst symptoms that long Covid can bring. Heart inflammation and neurological complications can also occur. This is a big concern because heart inflammation is very dangerous while neurological problems can impact almost all organs.
So, what can be done to prevent long Covid? Aaron E. Glatt, chairman of the department of medicine and chief of infectious diseases at Mount Sinai South Nassau, says “What we do is we try to get patients through their symptoms, to palliate the difficulties.” Many professionals, including Glatt, suggest that getting vaccinated is the easiest way to get protection against long Covid.